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It really is the economy, stupid

Written By: - Date published: 7:18 am, October 29th, 2012 - 112 comments
Categories: Economy, election 2014 - Tags:

The latest Roy Morgan also includes a poll of what people think is the single most important issue facing New Zealand.It makes informative reading. Jobs is the largest: 1 in 5 consider it the most important issue (we can safely assume it’s in the top 3 for most other people) and that’s doubled in a year. The Financial Crisis is second but slipping. Inequality and poverty are the biggest concern for 1 in 8, up from 4% a year ago. Combined, the economic categories are 57% of people’s top issue, up from 49% a year ago, and 43% the year before that.

That’s a little counter-intuitive considering the economy is growing (even if it isn’t creating jobs) but what it tells us is that one year ago, two years ago, the public was buying the Nats’ line that they are doing the best that they can on the economy and that the brighter future is still on its way but, now, the public is sick of waiting and seeing National’s economic failure for what it is.

And they have failed. They’ve failed terribly. New Zealand is losing jobs and has rising unemployment while countries like the US and Australia are experiencing falling unemployment. New Zealand has the second largest current account deficit in the developed world, and that ever-growing pile of debt is funded by selling our assets and taking on even more debt.

National is very, very vulnerable if their complete failure on the economy and jobs, in particular, is targeted because their reputation on the economy is all they have – it’s the only issue that people care about that they previously thought National was any good on, and everyone is starting to see that they’re failures. And it’s something that the Left can tell a very strong story about. Labour’s record is rising wages, unemployment under 4%, and government surpluses. In Davids P, C, and C2, Labour has a strong economic team. The Greens have an ambitious plan and both an articulate co-leader/economic spokesperson and a passionate co-leader/poverty spokesperson. Peters and Harawira have the ability to call a spade a spade.

The rising tide of dissatisfaction with the failures of Key and English tells me that the Opposition will be most successful when it puts forward bold policy and makes the economy a clear point of difference. There’s no point being an Opposition that only carps and suggests small changes – having being sucked in by that same play from Key, it won’t work coming from Labour. Instead, the Opposition parties have to boldly challenge the failed neoliberal orthodoxy.

And this they are doing. The asset sales referendum will be the first time that anyone bothered to specifically ask New Zealanders what they think about privatisation – just asking the question overturns 25 years of myth that the high priests of neoliberal economics know best. The manufacturing inquiry will bring together both labour and capital to say loud and clear that neoliberalism has failed manufacturing and is turning us into a poor commodity exporter. But Labour, in particular, has yet to decide where to really stand. Is it, in the Cunliffe mould, really rejecting neoliberalism, or is it just opportunistically seizing on National’s failures? Will the parties, for example, adopt full employment as a policy (I can hear Granny Herald squealing now but it hardly hurt us in the post-war years) and attack National on the cost of unemployment? To win, the economic alternative will have to be both bold and credible.

It’s also noteworthy what isn’t a major issue for people – rising prices, the environment, crime, the housing shortage, education, health are all very few people’s top issue. That’s not to say that they aren’t important and that the Left doesn’t need policies to address them. But this poll says they aren’t issues that are going to move votes – not unless a concerted, and unnecessary, effort is put in to make them major issues.. They aren’t where the firepower ought to be directed – they aren’t worth getting distracted by as political issues. The Left should stick to the economy, National’s greatest strengh and its greatest weakness.

112 comments on “It really is the economy, stupid ”

  1. Gosman 1

    The trouble with this approach is that economies tend to be cyclical and there is a risk for the left that there will be an economic upturn by the time of the next election, (which is two years away after all).

    If the left decide to put the majority of focus in to this area they might find little ammunition to attack National if the economy is doing much better.

    • muzza 1.1

      Gos, you got your funny hat out of the box today, you prankster.

      How might you see the economy picking up champ?

      • aerobubble 1.1.1

        The insipid global economy depended on increasing oil supply and so cheapening oil costs, this is so fundamental to the downturn in the world economy that its staggering that anyone would consider a small percentage jump of a few percent to be a revival of economics as usual.

        NZ will rebuild CHCH, and Auckland will get a flow on boost because of it, but realistically debt globally will hang over until we get a bout of inflation, which will force wages rises and wipe much of the leveraging back to below normal. This is not the thirties, this is the late nineteen hundreds, of contraction couple with insipid revivals.

    • Peter 1.2

      You’re joking right?

      • Gosman 1.2.1

        No joke. It is highly improbable that any economy would remain mired in recession for more than a couple of years. There have been some exceptions to this such as Japan in the past couple of decades. This was as a result of a massive asset bubble bursting which was not the case in NZ, (although is one reason the US return to growth has been so slow).

        I’d suggest the slow appreciation of the Chinese Yuan will likely mean more importing from China and more opportunities for NZ exporters. The news from the US is encouraging as well with evidence that they are starting to ramp up economic growth. These coupled with the increased spending as a result of the Christchurch rebuild might well lead to a mini boom. It may well not happen but if it does it would kibosh the proposed strategy put forward here.

        • freedom 1.2.1.1

          gosman, the only way out of this shitfight of global economic woes is the same way as always, the powers that be decide on what they want to own next and have a large War to distract the masses whilst manouevering, or more often than not destroying, the necessary pieces to ensure the successful acquisition of the deisred resources

          if you do not believe War is on the horizon I have a bridge to sell you
          – oh flag that, i see you’ve already bought them all

        • Colonial Viper 1.2.1.2

          LOL!

          Global demand died at end of 2007 Gossie…how many years is the down turn now? Oh yeah, FIVE YEARS ON…Spain, Greece still on the verge of collapse, riots in Italy, Ireland “successfully” implementing austerity ie still on 15% unemployment 5 years on. Notice how all the tehniques used in “Greenspan’s Great Moderation” equate to a big fat zero in effect these days?

          Conclusion – the world changed and you didn’t notice.

          We are not in a business cycle dip: this is a long term secular change.

          As for Labour – Labour is still stuck in a long failed, injurious neoliberal paradigm.

          • Gosman 1.2.1.2.1

            Obviously you don’t think the strategy proposed here by Eddie will work either. We finally reach agreement on something.

            How’s the organising of the viable alternative to the existing political paradigm going by the way?

        • Peter 1.2.1.3

          I disagree, but I won’t labour the point. My economic views are still rather unorthodox, and probably heretical in certain circles, although talking to ordinary average New Zealanders from all sorts of backgrounds and political persuasions, it’s remarkable how many agree with me. It seems that those at the top of the pyramid are the last to know… There are many historical analogies for that.

          Anyway, I fail to see how any real sustained period of economic growth can emerge, because we simply don’t have the energy or resources to run it for long enough for it to percolate through to the point that it makes a real difference in people’s lives. Any economic boom now will be short lived and result in a crash, simply because the increased demand for resources can’t be sustained. With each crash, the underlying infrastructure for what resources remain gets further and further stretched through investment starving, so it can’t keep pace during the next boom.

          If there’s a way out of this that you see I’d be keen to hear of it.

          Anyway, I’ll be pursing what little I can do to try to get NZ to adopt a steady state economy, although even the basic fundamentals of such a system haven’t even been worked out. NZ, alone of most places, has the opportunity to do that, and it’ll probably end up that way anyway, over time.

          • Gosman 1.2.1.3.1

            The trouble with your economic view of the world is that you think resources get used up whereas the reality is all that happens is they get transformed. Whilst true that while someone is using them noone else can use them they don’t disappear. Obviously if a resource can be easily reused for the same activity once it has been used is questionable. That is not to say it is impossible.

            • Peter 1.2.1.3.1.1

              Hmm. I’d like to put that to a physicist? Are there any in the Standard’s readership?

              I’ll start with the most important resource of them all – energy. It comes in a variety of forms as you know, renewable and non-renewable. Almost all of it relates back to sunlight in some form, whether it’s bottled sunlight (oil, gas, coal), or current sunlight (wind, hydro, solar thermal, photovoltaic etc).

              But energy goes in only one direction, from concentrated sources to diffuse sources. You can go the other way (plants do this, taking sunlight and turning it into starch and structure), but only at the expense of a greater amount of energy to power the concentration machine. It all degrades to heat in the end.

              You can’t fight this, and trying to say that you can reverse entropy is a bit of an argument ender. Most scientifically literate people wouldn’t debate with you after that 🙂

              For your other resources, you are technically correct (especially with metals), that the metals aren’t consumed, merely transformed. But that transformation and transportation takes energy, vast quantities of it. Any new minerals will need energy intensive mining or extraction technologies, and recycling the existing ones isn’t much better. That includes digging them up from the hole that we generally put them in after a single use too…

              If you can show me a way to power industrial civilisation on this in the long run, I’m all ears.

              • Gosman

                We don’t have a problem with shortage of energy. In fact it is what is leading to rising temperatures. The problem is more to do with utilising the surplus of energy we have in an economically viable manner.

                • Peter

                  No shortage, no. I agree with you there. We use gargantuan quantities of energy each and every day, in ways that would astound our ancestors. It’s a historical aberration though, and once those stocks are gone (50-100 years at the absolute outside) we’ll be back to what we get in heat and light from the sun, maybe with a bit of geothermal from those places lucky enough to have it (i.e. lucky old NZ again).

                  However what we do have a problem is with available surplus energy to invest in future projects. If all energy is used to just maintain the status-quo, and no one wants to give up anything, then it doesn’t really matter. It’s the level of surplus that’s important. Right now, it’s as tight as a drum maintaining the status-quo, and it won’t be possible to increase that supply.

                  So yeah, no surplus, and no way of getting one back, short of a large programme of cuts with the resulting surplus supposedly invested on behalf of us all. Can’t see that happening.

                  • Gosman

                    Then you are in agreement with me in that this problem is an engineering one in relation to efficiency of use of our existing energy resources.

                    • Peter

                      Well, if the engineering solution is to power down to about 10-20% of the energy we use today, whilst we can, then yes I agree. Otherwise I don’t. That would prepare us for what is coming, and would set us on a long term path to sustainability, and living within our means. Either we do it, or we have it done to us.

                      However, I can’t see such a project ever gaining any political or financial support, and the opportunity to enact it (in the late 1970s) has long since passed. So there are probably no collective solutions available. The only solutions are at the individual or community level.

                    • Gosman

                      That is hardly an engineering solution. An engineering solution would be to extract more use from the surplus of energy that we currently have on the planet.

                      It is interesting that you seem to think of energy in terms of non-renewables like Fossil fuels.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      An engineering solution would be to extract more use from the surplus of energy that we currently have on the planet.

                      And that’s what we are doing.

                      But the engineering solutions all start to run out of room once EROEI drops below 5:1. And once EROEI approaches 1:1, it doesn’t matter how much you can sell a barrel of oil for, no one will bother to extract and refine it.

                      In other words, the world is going to run out of cheap oil while there are still billions of barrels of the stuff left underground.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      An engineering solution would be to extract more use from the surplus of energy that we currently have on the planet.

                      We don’t actually have any surplus energy – that’s the problem. The only way we can get some surplus is by cutting down on some of what we do.

                    • Gosman

                      We have a huge amounts of surplus energy, we just don’t have the technological knowhow to exploit it commercially. To deny this is to deny reality.

                      To illustrate my point I will ask you a few questions. First up – How much energy in terawatts do humans consume every year approximately?

                    • Colonial Viper

                      🙄

                      I can see the conversation turning to Dyson Spheres about here.

                      [lprent: I can see a removal of entire populations of comments to the dryson sphere of topics that is open mike. 😈 ]

              • aerobubble

                Cheap energy, the high ratio we find in nonrenewable has peaked in oil. China has brought forward peak coal. Basically once you’ve pulled the gas out of the ground you can’t do that again. This has many effects. Climate change; inefficient use from political throttling of economic output to appease investors and voters needs for jobs; using up of resources in an entropy waste (you see those oil, gas, iron ore, are nicely separated into reasonable pure areas and so are cheap to harvest – not so once they are mixed with organics and plastics into a garbage dump). The whole expansion of the world economy from Saudi Oil has been a huge unnecessary waste of energy, purer minerials and building unsustainable inefficient social, cultural and physical sprawl. i.e. we all could have live a whole lot better had the elites of media, politics and military not formed their own cliche. The promise was nuclear would take over and provide ubiquitous energy, or thorium, or some fancy cold fusion breakthrough.

                So its not as simple as more energy is needed, we will need even more energy on top to rectify the excesses of resource use and even town planning around motor vehicles. Oh, and if you think solar will save us because so much goes flying past us, there is still entropy limits alongside capture. Hey, there even talking about wind pollution where taking out the energy of wind alters the climate, imagine that, trees use the wind to pump water up from the ground.

    • marsman 1.3

      Even if the economy picked up Bill English would find a way to mismanage it. He’s incompetent.

      • aerobubble 1.3.1

        Capitalism has become distortion, take something we would ordinarily regard as free or cheap and sell it back to us at a inflated cost, not overt but hidden, whether climate, environmental, resource depletion, but always remembering to lock in even more distortion to keep the books churning over rent for the rent takers. And if we all get uppity then sell us the idea that we own a share in the rents in our pensions and super.

    • Lightly 1.4

      1) there’s no up-turn coming 2) international research shows that people vote on their feelings about the economy for about a year and a half before an election – not how it is on election day, so National needs an up-turn to begin pretty much now.

      • Gosman 1.4.1

        I disagree with your second point. If that was the case Obama would be toast in just over a week. Positive economic data coming out around election time is always useful for an incumbant in my mind. Where is the links to this international research?

        • Lanthanide 1.4.1.1

          Agree with you here, Gosman. I’ve seen no such “international research” saying that. I think Lightly just made it up.

          • muzza 1.4.1.1.1

            Whatever most people vote with, its not from an informed position!

            • Gosman 1.4.1.1.1.1

              Are you including yourself in the uninformed group muzza?

              • muzza

                I might even include you in the “possibly informed” category Gosman.

                Even though you talk gobshite, and are obviously around the boards to stir things up, and your posts indicate someone who would probably feel awkward in most situations!

        • aerobubble 1.4.1.2

          Obama is just Romney lite. Obama cannot be Obama without a Democrat Congress. So really nothing has changed until the voters finally get fed up with the under performing ‘more of the same’ from the US governing class. Has the US gotten fed up with the Bush-Romney economics? Have they wised up yet that change is inevitable?

          • Gosman 1.4.1.2.1

            Quite obviously not as they seem reasonably happy with the status quo at the moment. The Occupy movement sort of fizzled out so they are jumping on some alternative bandwagon at the moment.

  2. vto 2

    We need to make and sell more trinkets.

    We need to make lots of stuff for people to put in their houses.

    We need bigger and brighter tvs and cars with nice sounding horns and lots of reflectors. We need electrical machines to do the dishes and dry our towels and brush our teeth.

    This is a great period of advancement for manwoman.

    • Peter 2.1

      Yep, I want my iPhone5, that does exactly the same things as the iPhone4, except faster, and with a battery that probably runs out more quickly. My life has improved immeasurably since my “friends” on Facebook can bite me more regularly in the latest round of Zombie Wars…

      You might as well just get an ordinary regular household object such as a frying pan, and stick a cheap radio onto the handle, sell it to rapturous applause, and call it “progress”.

  3. Stephen Doyle 4

    Which actually gives me some hope. Parker and Cunliffe seem to be strong on this. Once the messages are coordinated and concerted traction can be gained. But they do need back up, for the life of me, the rest of the front bench appear to be sleep walking their jobs to oblivion.

  4. tracey 5

    Given over-investment in housing has been pointed to as one trigger for the collapse, isnt it fascinating to see National pushing Auckland council (who they amalgamated so they could do the job without central government interference) to free up more land for developers in the flimsy guise of affordable housing. When was the last time a developer looked at a raft of available land and said “I will build affordable housing here and accept a smaller profit”??? Can’t wait to see which developers shelve the “how do I make the biggest profit margin out of this land”? philosophy.

    national know exactly what will happen and as a bonus it will require more road building…

    • Gosman 5.1

      Over-investment in increasing the housing stock was not a contributing factor in the Global financial Crisis. Over investment in the EXISTING housing stock was. One leads to more houses and the other to higher prices.

      • Colonial Viper 5.1.1

        That’s bullshit Gosman

        Check out what was going to be the world’s largest shopping mall in Ireland, half built using debt, and which has had to be torn down as a dead loss to the banking system and investors.

        Many property developments around the world fall into the same category, residential and commercial. Debt driven flights of fancy. Check out Dubai for instance.

  5. ak 6

    It really is the economy, stupid

    Yep and nah.

    What it really, really, is, is voters’ perception of the economy: and even this old idiot-box hater has heard two or three Natzkey soundbites in the last week alone telling us with utter sincerity and all the middle-management low-Key gravitas that the best PR “brains” in the world have manufactured relentlessly over the past decade, that “despite the global crisis our economy’s doing better than most others”

    Nuff said, puppet boy. Follow up with National still well ahead in latest poll and bobby’s yer unk for the next poll. Going forward, recycle coming agressively out of recession in Q3 2010 13, 14, whatever….

    Sound-bite politics rulz. Learn from Winnie and Russ or give up, Lab cats.

    • Colonial Viper 6.1

      But our economy is doing better than most others in the western world. On this, Key is telling the truth.

  6. Rogue Trooper 7

    Yes. Beware NAct’s jumping on the affordable housing bandwagon (although housing growth is used as an INDICATOR, of economic upturn in other Western economies; they are touting Housing again in the U.S),
    yet, more borrowed money, nothing “produced” for balance of trade, and inflationary pressures which the RB is already anticipating i understand.

    • tracey 7.1

      In otherwords learning nothing from a very recent mistake because there’s money in that there land…

      • Gosman 7.1.1

        It looks like you have learned nothing given you think increasing the number of houses is in any way related to what happened with the GFC.

        Your lack of understanding of ECON101 basic Supply and Demand curves is quite shocking.

        • tracey 7.1.1.1

          What I know is the homes will be sold in stages and will not be affordable. Auckland is down over 100,000 houses due to them being unsaleable because they are leaky homes. All homes will not hit the market at once because the developers won’t let them. They wont swamp the market because (as you point out with your supply and demand snipe) that would drive their profit down.

          I’m sorry my economic literacy isn’t to your satisfaction … oh wait, no I’m not. People with a firm grasp of economics are largely behind the debacle we call our economy.

          • Gosman 7.1.1.1.1

            Regardless of your view on the particular flavour of economic policy you feel caused the GFC there is one aspect of Economics that ALL sides can agree on. This is if you increase the supply of something then, so long as demand stays static or rises only slightly, the price will fall and the reverse will happen if demand goes up without a corresponding rise in supply

            The problem with the Asset priced bubble in the US prior to the GFC was that people were increasing their debt to buy houses while the supply of houses did not keep pace with the increased demand. This is nothing like what is being suggested in regard to opening up more land for development in places like Auckland.

            • tracey 7.1.1.1.1.1

              But you do understand that with 100,000 out of sale circulation in Auckland for the foreseeable future that’s a F&**of a lot of land to open up to get your supply/demand argument resulting in lower priced and affordable homes?

              In any event the “plan” was kinda abandoned in Hobsonville so the govt is being more than disingenuous by touting this opening up of land as an affordable house solution, dontcha think?

              Do you agree Developers seek to maximise profit through purchase of land and sale of the home sbuilt thereon?

            • Draco T Bastard 7.1.1.1.1.2

              The problem with the Asset priced bubble in the US prior to the GFC was that people were increasing their debt to buy houses while the supply of houses did not keep pace with the increased demand.

              Did you notice all the unfinished housing stick in the US?

              The housing bubble, in all countries, is due to speculation driven by the banks printing money.

              • aerobubble

                Remember also the US government while fueling cheap loans to low income people were also exporting their jobs to China, forcing down wages and inevitable foreclosure when the jobs dried up. Its was an economic man trap created by the Republicians when they came to power in Congress.

                • Gosman

                  If tre then it is a good argument for keeping government out of business.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    Nah. Its a good argument for keeping business out of government. Unfortunately in the US, even the Supreme Court has been bought by corporate interests.

                    • aerobubble

                      Yes, essentially what has happened is business and government have become one. aka Lord of the rings ideology, one ring to rule and control the economy. Adam Smith warned against destroying the invisible hand, neo-liberals have spent thirty years rigging the system to produce profits, profits from control, over control of markets to produce consistent profits, get it.
                      The joke is the losers who keep voting Conservative, Tory, National, etc aren’t actually capitalists, their parasites off real capitalism, fearful of losing their hard won profits they burn down the bridges that made them rich.
                      Take Charter Schools, they have existed for centuries and were done away with by massive universal education, their reintroduction is merely a prelude to the return of the workhouse.
                      Get with the program people, weak insufferable idiots vote for conservative parties for the short term victory of being able to claim they are winners, because their whole lives are loserville. They don’t get economics so they eat up the conservative politicians who say trust us, have we seen you wrong yet, despite all evodence of debt, pollution, of leaky homes, leaky financial companies, leaky databases, leaky turd thinking.
                      Beegeezuse Key and his ilk are dumb sell more trust them, the economy is about to turn around (ChCh earthquake had nothing to do with them except in producing a ready available disaster from leaky crap homes built on sand).
                      It should not be so easy to utterly discredit Conservativism with the rampent excesses of facts, from climate change, to resource depletion, to indebtedness, to work servitude, to productivity failing to produce jobs..
                      ..the list of mistakes, so mad excess, is over powering.
                      The ultimate fallacy of Conservatism is it conserves anything except itself.

              • infused

                Don’t you want to print money?

                • Draco T Bastard

                  I want the government to print and use non-interest bearing money offset by appropriate taxes.

                  This is different from the private banks printing money because a) they’re incentivised to print money due to getting to charge interest b) the money they print can’t be paid back due that interest forcing c) unsustainable growth and d) ever increasing accumulation of society’s wealth into fewer and fewer hands and e) making society dependent upon the owners.

                • aerobubble

                  What an imbecile! Government print money all the time, as its lost, as it is lost on balance sheets, in fire-sales. The question is how much money is necessary for efficiency. How does the market signal the need for more money, when the government has become mired in regulation traps by weak capitalist living off their past profits rather than investing in new benefits to the commons.
                  When societies start hating the commons, start pissing and shitting openly, someone has to print some money to get public toilets built, and tax the haters until they wise up to how utterly stupid it is to piss in the common pot.
                  cheap oil meant we could beat each other to profits, it carried some people much further that they would ordinarily have gotten on their own merits, and now those few who got to the top want to secure their wealth and fear that the also ran losers who fear job lose will lose them their homes won’t wise up and stop voting for the imbeciles who keep cannibalizing the commons.
                  You see the world works like this, cheap energy fueled a alliance between working class and the upper class, now the world needs liberals, the rich will inevitably realign with the middle classes as the world economic contraction (WEC) weeds out the simple minded. Welcome to darwinism, population explosions, this time in neo-liberal memes, then the weeding of the over populated plague.

        • Colonial Viper 7.1.1.2

          Your lack of understanding of ECON101 basic Supply and Demand curves is quite shocking.

          Oh FFS Gosman

          If YOU still believe in the classic ECON101 downward sloping supply curve, it’s YOUR lack of understanding which is shocking.

          • TightyRighty 7.1.1.2.1

            Um, Just so i’ve got this straight CV, The supply curve is downward sloping in ECON101 because suppliers want to supply so much more as the price goes down? HAHAHAHAHAHA

            oh shit bruv. that’s hilarious. Tell me again. I can’t believe you are screaming at Gosman when in ECON 101 the supply curve slopes up. how’s that “masters” going again

            • Gosman 7.1.1.2.1.1

              Possibly he’s been reading his textbooks side on. It would explain quite a bit…

              • Colonial Viper

                Fuck you guys are idiots. Typical neoliberal economics students who don’t actually understand your own academic discipline.

                The supply curve is downward sloping in ECON101 because suppliers want to supply so much more as the price goes down? HAHAHAHAHAHA

                BTW this is exactly the situation that the NZ dairy industry is in.

                (Yeah I had originally meant downward sloping demand curve but misread the original comment, whoops)

  7. tracey 8

    agree with ak. Sadly the future of this country is not about reality but perception hiding ideology.

    I notice smiling johnny hasn’t had much to say in the last two weeks? Been undergoing tight re-training?

    • Chalupa Batman 8.1

      He realises, unlike Labour, when the opposition is shooting itself in the foot that the best course of action is to say nothing because Labours doing all the work for him

      • tracey 8.1.1

        Interesting because I think he had to take a break because every time he was opening his mouth anothe rlie was falling out.

        • Chalupa Batman 8.1.1.1

          Maybe the Labour front bench could take note: Shearer and the video recording, Parker making up claims from the reserve bank, Mallard well anytime he opens his mouth etc etc

          Get the picture?

          • felix 8.1.1.1.1

            Yeah, I get the picture that you don’t mind that Key tells obvious outright lies all the time as long as he gets away with it.

            • Chalupa Batman 8.1.1.1.1.1

              Hows it any different from Labour ministers who tell lies?

              • One Tāne Huna

                Are you saying the one excuses the other?

                • Chalupa Batman

                  More like every mp does it (not that it makes it ok) so why point it out?

                  • tracey

                    because, in case you hadn’t noticed, Labour isn’t in Government anymore and so isn’t in control of the future of this country… their lies have been replaced by national’s lies, except national wasn’t go ing to lie (oops another lie), so now thw question is this

                    Can you believe anything they say or do, or do you just selectively choose the bits that you want to believe cos you happen to agree with them? By “you” I mean the plural you.

                    As long as Nat supporterss say “our liars are ok cos we agree with them” and labour supporters only bemoan lies when they are not their MPs we are on a downward spiral… still “it’s ok, I’m alright mate” Yea Right.

                    No moral high ground for anyone here Chalupa so stop trying to claim it.

                    As for not pointing it out… youmean like national didn’t use it as a foundation for getting in, pointing out labour’s “lies” I mean. Now your team is in you want that to stop?
                    What happens when nats are next in Opposition, will you be excitedly pointing out lies again?

                    • Chalupa Batman

                      Can you believe anything they say or do, or do you just selectively choose the bits that you want to believe cos you happen to agree with them? By “you” I mean the plural you.
                      – Some things I believe and some I don’t. Much like you and whatever party you support.

                      As long as Nat supporterss say “our liars are ok cos we agree with them” and labour supporters only bemoan lies when they are not their MPs we are on a downward spiral… still “it’s ok, I’m alright mate” Yea Right.
                      -I agree, it is a downward spiral but I’m guessing its not going to change anytime soon so you can either accept it happens or choose to believe only the Nats do it (if it makes you feel better)

                      No moral high ground for anyone here Chalupa so stop trying to claim it.
                      – Not trying to claim the high ground but rather letting you know about the lies Labour tells (just in case you didn’t know ;))

                      As for not pointing it out… youmean like national didn’t use it as a foundation for getting in, pointing out labour’s “lies” I mean. Now your team is in you want that to stop?
                      – Naah just pointing out that every lie National tells theres a lie (probably more) that Labour tells, so maybe we should use something like MAD?

                      What happens when nats are next in Opposition, will you be excitedly pointing out lies again?
                      – Probably 🙂

          • tracey 8.1.1.1.2

            Oh cool, you are from the school of if they lie we can lie, and ignore the ramification of a country perpetually run by liars. At least I accept that Labour MPs have lied… and abhor it, you on the other hand appluad it if “your team” is doing it. When do you think final whistle will be? It’s not a game.

            • Gosman 8.1.1.1.2.1

              Every thing is essentially a game. However I agree that doesn’t mean it is okay for people to lie. It is just likely that politicians do it more than others regardless of their political persuassion.

              • tracey

                we all think it’s okay if we keep casting votes that allow them to have a forum to keep doing it.

                Just a question of clarification Gosman, are you saying politicians have a propensity tolie more than other folks?

                • Chalupa Batman

                  I don’t think Politicians have a propensity to lie more than others just that the job itself demands they lie.

              • Chalupa Batman

                Um yeah thats pretty much what I mean

                • One Tāne Huna

                  So, the issue isn’t so much the ubiquitous spinning, as the subjects that are being spun. Is it “I didn’t notice how fast the car was going”, or “I wasn’t kept in the loop about the illegal surveillance of New Zealand residents by my own department”, or “I can’t remember soliciting or receiving those bribes”?

                  One of these lies is trivial, unless you lean to the right, in which case, apparently, two of them are.

                  • Chalupa Batman

                    One trivial (unless you’re the one driving ;)), one plausible deniability, one taking the piss (I’ve always stated Banks should go and some of the younger talent come up)

                    • One Tāne Huna

                      “Plausible deniability” is what you have when you’re lying. Nice “ethics” you have there.

              • Reagan Cline

                Where can I find the rules of the game Gosman ?

                • Gosman

                  You win if you pass on your genes, (or contribute to others doing so who share many of your genes). Alternatively you win if you pass on a meme you agree with. It all comes down to passing on down something successfully to the next generation.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    So according to you, poor, uneducated people are currently winning the game? Right-O. I always wondered why Tories keep trying to sterilise the lower classes, directly or indirectly.

  8. Lanthanide 9

    “Peters and Harawira have the ability to call a spade a spade.”

    Haha, love it.

  9. Olwyn 10

    The housing shortage and employment are very much related issues; in fact I would go so far as to say that one of the things went against Labour in the 2008 election was the fact that people were getting jobs but housing remained out of reach, a problem which has grown much worse under National. People expect adequate employment to end their housing problems, and when it doesn’t they get pissed off.

    From both National and Labour we hear much talk about means, with gestures toward desirable ends. With Labour, one such means is the CGT, another is the inquiry into manufacturing. I heard one from National on the radio this morning; it is going to open up land for development that will “lead to affordable housing.” Well, not necessarily. It may just lead to property developers getting their claws on more land. Hence I would like to hear someone say “We will do what it takes to renew manufacturing, produce affordable housing, etc,” rather than “If we twiddle this knob, the result will be renewed manufacturing, etc.”

    • Gosman 10.1

      “…I would like to hear someone say “We will do what it takes to renew manufacturing, produce affordable housing, etc,” ”

      Why would you like to hear someone say that? It sounds rather ominous to me.

      • Olwyn 10.1.1

        I do not mean that the ends justify the means in any absolute sense, only that the achievement of the ends should be the focus, with plans being adopted, modified or dropped according to whether or not the ends are met.

  10. Draco T Bastard 11

    How to end both the housing shortage and speculative bubbles in housing.

    BTW, Cunliffe has quite specifically that he believes in comparative advantage so we won’t be getting any change out of Labour because they believe the present system works despite the fact that it just fell down – again.

    • kiwicommie 11.1

      “…we won’t be getting any change out of Labour…”
      You want change to come out of Labour? The last time that happened was in the 1980s and it didn’t end up well i.e. Rogernomics and major asset sales. Trust change to the Greens and other parties, as in coalition Labour will be forced to work with them anyway. 😉

  11. tracey 12

    Exactly because thos ein power, or were in power, or soon to be in power, won’t bite the hand that feeds…

  12. Tom 13

    “I notice smiling johnny hasn’t had much to say in the last two weeks? Been undergoing tight re-training?”

    .. on the phone to Romney, perhaps ?

  13. karol 14

    Rob Salmond’s latest poll of polls.  Basically he sees it as a slow moving tide with labour gradually taking votes off National.
     

    Nonetheless it does look that Labour has taken votes from National during the year. Labour has gone up by 4.5% through 2012, and only about two of those appear to have come at the expense of the Greens, who are coming down from their stratospheric ratings immediately post-election.

    We estimate the gap between National and (Labour+Green) to be only around one point as at now, down from 5.5% at the start of the year and nine points at the election.
     
    These trends will not, of course, continue in a linear fashion for the next two years.

    But a persuasive case can be made with the data that large, persuadable sections of the public are tiring of the current government and are willing to listen to Labour and the Greens, when previously they were not.
     

     
    I hope he’s right, but it’s such aa slow shift, it’s not all that reassuring to me.
     

    • Colonial Viper 14.1

      National Ministers would have to start running over school kids in Ministerial Beamers. Before voters will start thinking of Labour as a potential government-in-waiting at a faster rate.

      Why is that?

  14. Bob 15

    Just to play devils afvocate for a minute here Eddie, “It’s also noteworthy what isn’t a major issue for people – rising prices, the environment, crime, the housing shortage, education, health are all very few people’s top issue. That’s not to say that they aren’t important and that the Left doesn’t need policies to address them”, couldn’t this also mean that NZer’s think the current government is doing very well in these areas? i.e. inflation is low, National standards are bedding in (sorry, even I was laughing when I wrote that), operation waiting lists are shrinking, crime rate dropping and the environment isn’t being any more compromised than it has been in the past? Could this also be why people are thinking, well they are all going well, but I heard the unemployment rate is still quite high.

    Just a side note on inequality, let’s put together a mini utopia for a second. Let’s say we get to a point where I am the lowest paid person in the country earning $50,000 p/a (a more than livable wage), my friend Colonial Viper (hope you don’t mind CV) is very intelligent and successful and earns $500,000 p/a. During the next year, inflation is 2%, my lovely employer gives me a 2% pay rise to cover this, and so does CV’s. I am now earning $51,000 p/a and CV is now earning $510,000 p/a. Inequality stats would say that CV (that rich prick) has had a pay rise of $10,000 while I only got a pay rise of $1,000, oh the inequality……….hold on, the OECD inequality stats say I should be outraged, but I am still on a livable wage that is keeping up with inflation, so when does this information EVER give you a good guide as to the state of the nation? Our poverty stats are also worked out by this same data, so even if this happened, I would be classed as being below the poverty line if $51,000 was less than 60% of the median income, as our poverty measures are based on Relative Poverty. http://stats.oecd.org/Index.aspx?DatasetCode=INEQUALITY

    When are we going to get a true guide to poverty in NZ as proposed to the UN by David Gordon?
    http://www.un.org/esa/socdev/unyin/documents/ydiDavidGordon_poverty.pdf

    • One Tāne Huna 15.1

      “the OECD inequality stats say I should be outraged,”

      Do they? Have you had a good look at the reasons why inequality creates more social problems than absolute measures of poverty?

      • Gosman 15.1.1

        A debateable point that inequality creates more social problems than absolute measures of poverty. It might mean different social problems but not necessarily more.

        • One Tāne Huna 15.1.1.1

          “Debatable”, “might”, “not necessarily more”. Weasel words.

          • Gosman 15.1.1.1.1

            I prefer to reflect the reality that these issues are not settled and are highly controversial. You might like to come down solidly one way or the other but I’m not that silly.

            • One Tāne Huna 15.1.1.1.1.1

              “The science isn’t settled”, eh? A “false and misleading dichotomy” is a good foundation for a house of cards; show me the peer-reviewed articles that support your notion that there is a controversy.

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